GOOD JEANS

I can't remember a time in my life when I haven't worn jeans. I have had purple Levis that I used to go to get from Kensington Market aged 16. I then progressed to flares - with dirty, wet, ripped bottoms; there was a phase of big baggy ones worn on my hips with a studded belt and platform trainers and then there were the skinnies that I was wary of at first but that stuck around for a while.

Right now the denim landscape is ruleless! Jeans come in all shapes and styles, they are cropped, straight, moms, boyfriends, ripped, frayed and everything in between. This is a good thing because jeans are great . They can be dressed up and down and it is currently acceptable to wear them (more or less) everywhere. They are durable, washable, flattering, look better with age, plus there is a style for everyone.

TOPSHOP for a long time has been my go to place for jeans. I like the quality of the denim and all the different styles they have that they constantly update and add to. 

Here are my current top 3 styles:

MOM

Coincidentally I have only started wearing Mom jeans since becoming a Mum - i'm not sure why this is but I do know that I like the high waist which has proved invaluable when bending down to play with the kids on the floor (no mum-bum). They are also great for hiding the mum-tum both things that you might not have considered if you are not a mother (or someone who bends down a lot or rolls on the floor!).

I love the patchwork panels on these, it makes them a bit more interesting and more of a statement than the plain versions.

Patchwork Panel Mom Jeans £50 / Dropped Hem Jacquard Blouse by Boutique £59

CROPPED WIDE LEGGED

I love these (and this whole outfit), they are such a useful style - perfect for the UK's not hot but not cold summer weather. Personally I would wear these with flat sandals or trainers, but they would look cool with a sequin top and pointed flats too.

Mid Blue Cropped Wide Leg Jeans £40 / 1972 Tshirt £15 / FALCON Buckle Sliders £39 / SWIFT Chunky Cateye Sunglasses £18

STRAIGHT

If you are still stuck in your skinnies but are tempted to break away then a straight leg is a great transition jean. They are flattering and easy to wear with all types of shoes and ankle boots. I like the simplicity of these and will wear them turned up as well as left to fray.

Blue Raw Hem Straight Leg Jeans £40 / Box Pleat Cold Shoulder Top £45

This post has been kindly sponsored by TOPSHOP + Affiliate Window. As you know my love for TOPSHOP (especially their jeans) is real and genuine as are all the words and thoughts in this post.

FOR THE LOVE OF FLATS

Above all fashion I like to be comfortable in what i'm wearing - you never know when you might need to run, jump or dance so it is always good have the correct footwear just in case. For that reason I tend to wear flat shoes more than heels. I do love the look of heels and wear them for special occasions and when i'm in the mood, but I find that I can't last that long before they start to hurt and I end up taking them off anyway; so more often than not I go straight for the flat option.

There are so many good colours and styles of flat shoe around at the moment - but my black pointed ballet flats are one of the most useful pair of shoes that I own, they have seen me from meetings to playgrounds to parties and go with everything.

Back in the day when I used to wear heels (and go out) more, I would ALWAYS take a pair of flats in my bag. I remember one Christmas my mum giving me these amazing shoes that folded in half. They were called Butterfly Twists and they were brilliant, I took them everywhere - in my handbag to nightclubs (oh so long ago!), on holiday and kept them in my desk drawer at work.

ISOBEL £40

Butterfly Twists are a shoe brand that has been around since 2009, they were founded by two brothers and two friends (guys) after one of them lost a bet in which they had to spend an evening wearing high heels. He sympathised with the pain these shoes caused the women who usually wore them and spotted a gap in the market for an alternative.  So without any prior knowledge in the women's footwear business the four friends set to create a company that did the opposite - make comfortable, versatile easy to wear (flat) shoes. 

CHLOE shoe £35

Their shoes are defiantely comfortable - the soles are soft and squashy as are the leather and fabrics they use. All the shoes come with a little bag to carry them in plus they are flexible so are perfect for when you are travelling or stashing in your hand bag/ nappy bag when you are out and about.

They come in loads of different designs and colours and they are fairly priced. If you are looking for some easy to wear ballet pumps then defiantely check them out (they have some new leopard print ones I love). 

 

Nothing looks better than a person having fun and if your shoes are hurting this won't be you - so my advice is always wear comfortable shoes (or at least take some with you that are!).

@butterflytwists

This post is kindly sponsored by Butterfly Twists. All thoughts and ideas are my own. My mum genuinely bought me a pair years ago that I loved! 

IT'S ALL ABOUT...GINGHAM

There is a lot of gingham around at the moment, and I think that because it hasn't been around for a while it is being embraced. You can hardly click on a Instagram fashion feed or open a magazine without being faced with the little check.

Personally I love gingham - even though it reminds me of my school uniform. There are loads of ways to wear it - from tops to trenches, if you want to wear gingham you can find it on everything at the moment.

Topshop are doing it particularly well - they even have a dedicated section for it. They have some great tops and this awesome, flattering, easy to wear skirt which also ticks the frill trend too.

Gingham is easy to wear and versatile because it goes with everything and can be dressed up at night or down for day.

Here are 3 ways to wear to wear this gingham skirt:

Double gingham - I love this outfit, it's like the clashing prints trend but using gingham (which is kind of a print) and is perfect for when the weather gets warmer, day or night.

Teamed with a pink silk shirt the skirt can be dressed up - good for work or a smarter occassion. I love these studded shoe-boots too - the perfect transition from winter boot to summer shoe.

Summer will come soon and when it does we can wear T-shirts and sandals (with a gingham skirt).

Gingham Ruffle Midi Skirt £39 /Asymmetric Gingham Frill Top £29 / He Loves Me Blouse by Boutique £60 / MADNESS Studded Boots £72

This post has been kindly sponsored by TOPSHOP + Affiliate Window. As you know my love for TOPSHOP is real and genuine as are all the words and thoughts in this post.

SPRING HAS SPRUNG

As I have mentioned before I am a fan of seasons. I like them all and I like when they change because it opens up a whole load of outfits, fashion, trends and colours. Spring is always a welcome season for fashion - light jackets, no socks, cropped trousers and bare legs.

To get you in the mood and to inspire your new season wardrobe here are a few Spring inspired outfit ideas and key pieces that will see you through to Summer time.

This is a great Winter to Spring transition outfit, not too flesh baring or summery but not too wintery and warm either.  These bright red cropped trousers are fun, flattering and cool. They look great with these backless loafers (perfect for Spring feet), but they would also look good dressed up with a wedged heel. I would also style them with a white trainer, Breton top or denim shirt for a more casual look.

This thin knit grey embellished top is another perfect Winter - Spring transition piece that could be worn with anything.

Cropped Wide Leg Trousers £45 / Embroidered Short Sleeve Jumper £35

This skirt is so pretty, the embroidery and detail on it makes it look and feel really premium. I would wear this dressed up to a wedding with a silk cami top, colourful heels and a cropped jacket or dressed down with a white t-shirt, trainers and a denim jacket.

I love this bag!!! Little red bags are a next season must have and this one is perfect - such a good colour red and the perfect cross-body bag size to fit the essentials.

Embroidered A-Line Skirt £49.50 / Faux Leather Twist Lock Bag £25

Big sleeves are another big trend for next season and this top is a good alternative to a shirt.

I have been looking for a pair of shoes like these for a while - being a flat shoe person I am always on the look out for something that is smart and chic but without a heel and these are great. When the sun goes in (which in the UK it will) I would wear them with black tights or fishnet socks.

If you are looking for a good all round pair of jeans then I would highly recommend these - high waisted, slightly cropped but with a straight leg - great with bare ankles. (AUTOGRAPH High Waist Slim Leg Jeans £39.50).

Leather Sling Back Flats £49.50 / Pure Cotton Striped Fluted Sleeve Blouse  £29.50

This post is kindly sponsored by Marks & Spencer. I genuinely would wear all of these clothes and totally believe in what I have written!

SPORTY STYLE!

I love clothes and fashion (which i'm sure you've guessed) - what I wear makes a big difference to my mood and I enjoy the process and challenge of working out what to wear to different places and occasions.

January is a time when promises are made, gyms are joined, resolutions and fitness targets are set and sportswear is purchased! When it comes to getting clothes to exercise in the key is to get something you like to wear, that is practical, comfortable, functional and that you feel good in.

Depending on how much you work out you'll be wearing these clothes at least once a week so it is always worth investing in some that fit you well. Sports clothes have to be technical and work, the correct clothes and shoes can make a huge difference to your performance and enjoyment. 

This padded running jacket is great - it is insulated enough to keep you warm but not too much so you overheat! I really like the thumb hole detail which is perfect for keeping your hands warm when out running.

Padded Running Jacket £45 / Lace Up Active Trainers with Insolia Flex® £25

The good thing about sportswear this season is that it is not limited to the gym, with the rise in popularity of the Athleisure trend it is now more than ever acceptable to wear these clothes throughout the day.

This is also true for sporty style accessories - this bag works just as well with a laptop or nappies in is as it does for yuor sports kit.

 

Faux Leather Gym Tote Bag £29.50 / Sport Hoody £25

Another reason that I believe in getting some exercise clothes you will love is that I believe they will motivate you to wear them and get fit. The best form of exercise is one that you enjoy doing and that makes you feel good inside and out.

Performance Graphite Print Leggings £25 / Silicon Water Bottle £8

This post is kindly sponsored by Marks & Spencer. I genuinely would wear all of these clothes and totally believe in what I have written!

LOOKING COOL, STAYING WARM

It's Winter and if the weather man has go it right snow is on its way. I'm big a fan of snow mainly because I am prepared and have the right clothes. Having lived in the mountains for over three years I know the importance and value that the correct footwear and clothes can be, and what a difference they make to your enjoyment of cold weather. 

I believe in investing in a few items of clothing that you will bring out every year, that will enable you to enjoy being out in the cold as supposed to dreading it. Here are three things I think you need to keep you warm this winter:

A Down Jacket - Down jackets are amazing at keeping you very warm. They have feathers inside (like a duvet) so are super cosy and almost impossible to be cold it.

Pyrenex HALNY COAT €280 (was €400) / Burton [ak] Baker Down Insulator Jacket £180

Fur line waterproof boots - never underestimate the comfort of having warm dry feet, it makes such a difference.

WOMEN’S COZY™ CARNIVAL BOOT £100 / Penelope Chilvers INCREDIBLE BOOT £389

Thermals -  Thermals no longer need to be hidden and worn underneath other clothes. This season there are so many cool and colorful ones that you will want to show off.

THE PROS OF ATHLEISURE (+ LK BENNETT)

"Athleisure is a trend in fashion in which clothing designed for workouts and other athletic activities is worn in other settings, such as during work, casual or social occasions." Wikipedia

There are many good things about the Athleisure trend and why you should embrace it, here are a few:

  • It is so comfortable
  • You can move in all directions at all times without having to worry about exposing yourself
  • The use of more technical fabrics mean the clothes are designed to be durable, washable and breathable
  • You'll feel fitter wearing it even if you haven't actually worked out (you will also be perceived as fitter by other people) 
  • It is stretchy 
  • If you do decide to spontaneously do some exercise (or if you simply need to run for a train) you will be ready
  • Life is busy and these clothes are good for busy people

LK Bennett have recently launched their Athleisure collection - and from personal experience I can tell you that these leggings are one of the most comfortable things i've ever worn. They are flattering, stylish and the wide waist band means that they fit smoothly around your middle. I'm wearing them with a very cool 2 tone cashmere jumper and white trainers, but they'd also look good with a t-shirt or shirt and biker or bomber jacket.

I think the key to perfecting the perfect Athleisure outfit it to team smart and casual / sporty and lux. For example leggings and cashmere or a floaty dress with trainers depending on what you are doing.  I am a big fan of wearing trainers and flat shoes with smart things, so this is a trend that is good for me.

 Mariel Mutli Print Saffiano Leather Shoulder Bag £165 / Ally Print Viscose Dress £350

The other thing I think is important with this trend is to wear it with confidence - you do not want to feel like you are in your gym clothes because you haven't had time to change you want to be wearing them for a reason and the reason is because they are the perfect outfit for your busy life!

Reilly White Leather Trainers £150 / Ditas Black Silk Viscose Dress £325

This post is kindly sponsored by LK Bennett. All thoughts, ideas and outfit choices are entirely my own.

DON'T GET STRESSED GETTING DRESSED THIS CHRISTMAS (#AD)

It is the start of the Christmas season - which means there are events to attend, presents to buy, shopping to do, discos to dance, food to eat and drinks to drink. And for all of this you will need some good outfits to wear! 

Embodying a positive approach to the season, I’ve partnered with Actimel to show how to #Staystrong when it comes to choosing what to wear. If you are not as prepared as this Santa in Training, then don't worry you still have time. 

Christmas dressing can be super fun and filled with sequins, glitter and glam but for some people the idea of getting party dressed can fill them with dread.

The key to any outfit is that you have to love it and feel good in it - obviously because you are the one wearing it, but the better you feel the more fun you are likely to have and that is essential to having an excellent Christmas.

Here are three outfit ideas that set you up to have the best time ever!

THE SEQUIN SKIRT

 

There are loads of great sequin skirts around at the moment, in different styles, colours and budgets so do not assume they aren't for you. They are easy to wear, can be styled in many different ways - with anything from a t-shirt to a velvet top and worn with both heels or flats.

As a sequin skirt is a statement piece so I tend to (but not always) go for a slightly plainer top.

& Other Stories £65 / Warehouse £39

THE JUMPSUIT

I am a massive fan of jumpsuits / playsuits - they are an easy outfit in one, they look cool and are excellent for dancing in. There are some great ones around at the moment and loads of different styles. If you are ever stuck with what to wear a jumpsuit is always a good option.

One tip for ladies who are a different size top and bottom and can't find one to fit, is to look for a matching top and trousers - this will give to illusion you are wearing a jumpsuit but you will be able to buy them in different sizes.

BOB by DOP £90 (was £180) / Jaeger £99 (was £199) 

THE STATEMENT PARTY DRESS

There are SO many good dresses around at the moment and so much sparkle - if you haven't already it is time to get involved!

The key is to find one you love and that you feel good in, because if you feel good you will look good too. Go for your favourite colour and look for a flattering style that will suit your shape.

My favourite colour is pink so I was pretty happy to find this one. 

Dress Next £75 / Bag Sarah Baily £145 / Shoes TOPSHOP £69

Zara £49.99 / River Island £45

This post is brought to you in association with Actimel. All thoughts, ideas and opinions are my own.
Actimel contains Vitamin B6 that contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. It also contains Vitamins B6 & D that contribute to the normal function of the immune system.

ELLE & VERY

Very - the British online retailer, recently created an exclusive pop-up shop in collaboration with ELLE Magazine in London.

I was invited to the ELLE Fashion Cupboard - which was a curated collection of pieces from the new V by Very Collection that had been handpicked by ELLE Magazine's Fashion Editors. I got to meet the ELLE team and talk fashion - which I obviously loved!

Being an large online retailer it was great to see an edit of the best bits, as well as having the opportunity to see Very's clothes in a shop environment and to be able to touch and try on.

There were so many nice things! My favourites included a sequin skirt, cold-shoulder knitted jumper and a very cool lightning bolt clutch bag.

V by Very Sequin Pencil Skirt £19 (was £32) / Clutch £15 (was £25) / Jumper £32

CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS

It's the 1st of December and time to start Christmas Shopping (or at least start to think about it). If you are stuck for ideas or even better if someone has asked you to suggest some things that you might like for Christmas give them the link to this blog post and send them to Marks & Spencer. 

My first suggestion is the classic Christmas gift Pyjamas. Until owning these pyjamas I have tended to sleep in an old t-shirt and pyjama bottoms however these have changed my PJ attitude - they are SO comfortable, super soft and cosy and the only thing I will be sleeping in from now on. 

Another classic gift are slippers - something that you'd rarely buy for yourself but when you do own a cosy pair will make you happy every time you put them on.

Pure Cotton Star Print Revere Collar Pyjamas £29.50 / Cork Mule Slippers £17.50

I love this jacket - so cosy and cool and good to note that although white fake fur jackets aren't always the most practical of colours/styles this one is washable. This dress is great too and would look equally good with summer sandals for a sunshine wedding in the summer time. 

Faux Fur Jacket £65 / Jacquard Print Lined Fit & Flare Dress £49.50

Statement earrings are in at the moment and these are great - because they are black they will go with everything and despite being on the large side are super light and comfortable.

 Diamanté Resin Circular Earrings £15

This is such a beautiful bomber that feels and looks really luxurious. It can be dressed up and down and worn for loads of different occasions - it would make a lady very happy at Christmas.

Embroidered Bird Bomber Jacket £65

This handbag is cool and is a great size - perfect for both work and play. Gloves are always good, especially as it is so cold - these are super cosy, great quality and very warm.  

Faux Leather Chunky Chain Shoulder Bag £35 / Leather Gloves £59

This post is kindly sponsored by Marks & Spencer. I genuinely would give and receive all of these gifts.

BRAND: ALICE MADE THIS

Alice Made This is a British jewellry and Men's accessories brand. Husband and wife team Alice and Ed founded the brand after spotting a gap in the market for beautiful, timeless, simple men's accessories and the brand grew from there. All the pieces are made in British factories using industrial processes that refine raw materials into precise, contemporary accessories. 

I am honored to be part of Alice Made This - The Women's Edit collaboration, where alongside five very inspiring and entrepreneurial women I have chosen my own, unique combination of Alice Made This pendants to create The DLAM Edit.  

I loved creating this necklace and have never worn a piece of jewellry that I have wanted to touch so much before - the pieces are so tactile.

My Edit has 3 components which can be worn all together, on their own, or in any double combination. This is such a great necklace - so simple but at the same time confident and perfect to go with literally everything.  

Alice and I went to Art College together and were re-united by chance in our local pub with our babies (realising we were now neighbours) so I believe this collaboration was fate!

Here is some more information on this brilliant brand and how it all came about:

NAME OF BRAND/COMPANY: Alice Made This

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: 2012

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Alice Walsh 

WHY WAS IT CREATED: When Alice and Ed were searching (and struggling to find) cufflinks for their wedding, they realised that there was a need to develop something fresh in the men's accessories space. Alice's experience is in product development, having worked for the likes of Tom Dixon, Conran and Habitat, travelling the world exploring manufacturing techniques and processes, and she always wanted to own her own business. This was the ideal opportunity. All our collections are made in Britain, using a different British factory and industrial process, and we refine raw materials into precise, timeless accessories. 

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: We work with eight different British factories for our collections, ranging from aeroplane part manufacturers and marine rope workers, to military armouries and a silversmith in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter. All of products are made in Britain by experts in their fields.

With a genuine respect and passion for British factories, Alice has managed to develop strong and creative working relationships with all of our makers to deliver clean and honest collections.

We introduced our first Women's collection earlier this year, including a range of geometric necklaces, and have launched The Women's Edits in the run up to Christmas to celebrate this. The variety of graphic pendants and material finishes has meant that our customers can wear them by day or by night, and find a piece that really compliments their style and personality. This is something we will be continuing to grow in 2017!

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: All sorts for the men in your lives... a perfect Xmas winner ;)

Also if you Christmas shop like me you can do "one for me, one for you" approach and treat yourself to a cheeky necklace! 

 @alicemadethis / Photography by @JKF_MAN 

SEQUIN DRESSES

It is sequin season which for me is all year around but for the shops it's now. There are so many good sequin dresses around at the moment and a lot of them are pink or red and long sleeved - making them flattering, wearable and fun.  

Here are my top four:

V by Very £55 / & Other Stories £79 / Dolce & Gabbana £3150 / ASOS £85  

JAEGER

I have always had massive respect and admiration for Jaeger as a brand - it exudes quality and heritage and as a company that has been around since 1884 when so many have come and gone, it must be doing something right.

Jaeger have recently opened a new store in London Marylebone and they invited me down to have a look. I didn't know what to expect but the first things that struck me was how colourful, contemporary and modern it was. 

The products are undoubtedly beautiful and chic, designed to perfection and of a quality that if looked after correctly will last a lifetime. 

I was immediately attracted to this bright red coat - it is super bright and so well cut, a real statement coat suitable for so many occasions. It is currently only available in the Marylebone store but will be online in a couple of weeks - I will add the link when it is.

The other thing I love are these perfect leather trousers, they are definitely an investment but I feel that price per wear would be low because they are so perfect! 

I wore them with this simple black jumper with sequins on it - it's like a subtle Christmas jumper that can be worn all year around, dressed up or down and is just a bit more interesting that a plain black one.

This leopard print cross body bag is another wardrobe staple, the perfect size and you can also tuck the strap in and wear it as a clutch too.

My late Grandmother wore Jaeger and she was a very stylish woman.  My mother and her are the reason I love clothes so much so being able to wear a brand that has featured in my family for generations really appeals to me and feels good. 

Jaeger clothes are the the type that have the ability to transform plain outfits into stylish ones and I intend to own more of them!

This post was kindly sponsored by Jaeger. My love and respect for them is genuine.

WHAT TO WEAR FOR THE RACES (IN WINTER)

At the end of November my husband and I are going to the 60th Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury Racecourse. I'm not sure what to expect but I know there will be horses, eating and drinking and as with these kind of events part of the fun of it is the outfit.

The dress code is smart, hats are encouraged and a warm coat essential. As always I will be opting for comfortable shoes or boots as there may be a fair amount of standing.

I like the idea of a skirt, top and faux fur coat - but at the same time keeping them modern and on trend.  Instead of a hat I was thinking it could be cool to wear an embellished hair band.

My outfits tend to be fairly spontaneous but here are some of my ideas so far:

& Other Stories Faux leather skirt £65 / Disco Blouse £65 / TOPSHOP headband £16.50 / Helen Moore £238

Boutique skirt £75 / TOPSHOP lace top £42 / Office boots £90 / Alexander Mcqueen £1745

These outfit would be a fairly similar to one you might wear to a smart Winter wedding.

If you would like to dress up and come to the races you can! To WIN: a pair of tickets, a night in The Lodge hotel at the racecourse, a bottle of Hennessy and a Hennessy picnic for two click on the link below.

SEVEN BOOT LANE

I have posted about Seven Boot Lane before - they are UK based family brand who make their shoes in a Spain. I am a massive fan of Seven Boot Lane - I've found their shoes to be great quality, long lasting and comfortable.

Their designs are not over the top but have subtle, interesting details that make them more interesting than the average shoe. Plus because they are a smaller brand the chances are you won't see everyone else wearing the same ones.

They have got some great new styles in at the moment. I love my metallic ankle boots - they go with everything and have become my go to Winter boot.

Bayarma Metallic Leather £150

I also love these leopard slip on print trainers - I have the grey version of these from last year and i've worn them so much, these would go with everything from winter to summer.  

I am always on the look out for a decent pair of winter boots that can be worn when it gets really cold and in the snow - however I always end up looking for these too late and they've all sold out. We are hoping to go skiing this year and i'll be taking these to wear for aprés.

PARTY TIME

I love this time of year, there are always so many excuses to wear party (sparkly) clothes and to dress up. However with invitations comes the question 'what am I going to wear?' Here are a few easy, comfortable outfit ideas that are perfect for loads of occasions this party season:

This bronze sequin skirt is amazing and super sparkly so I kept the top simple and the boots cool. Instead of a coat I wore a cosy leopard print jumper and carried (a go with everything) metallic clutch.

Sequin Skirt £49.50 / Leopard Print Slash Neck Jumper £35 / Envelope Clutch £17.50 / T-Shirt £22.50

With all of my outfits comfort is key - the last thing you want to be at a party is uncomfortable as it might restrict you from having fun and that is what parties are for.

A simple pair of flats are important and very useful - these black patent ones (they also come in gold and tan snake print) are great and go with everything. I dance tested them the other night and passed with dancing colours.

There are a lot of pleated skirts around at the moment, this leopard print one is super cool. I've styled it with a simple black top, chunky chain necklace and biker jacket. It would also look cool with a bright red jumper and boots.

 

Pointed Toe Ballerina Pump £29.50 / Animal Print Pleated Skirt £35

This is a perfect work to party outfit. Leather skirts are a great winter staple - worn with a chunky knit by day then dressed up with a shirt or top for the evening.

Ruffle Front High Neck Blouse £29.50  / Leather Pencil Skirt £149

Photography by @janelookerphotography 

This post is kindly sponsored by Marks & Spencer. I genuinely would wear and love all of these outfits! 

THE MUM COAT

Every year at around this time a whole load of women (many of whom are mums on maternity leave) start searching for their 'Mum Coat'.

The Mum Coat you think might be easy to find but there is certain criteria that it needs to fulfil to qualify as an option:

  • It must be waterproof - if you are pushing a pram it is not an option to hold an umbrella
  • It needs to have a cosy hood
  • Ideally it will cover the tops of your legs and bum, so these areas don't get wet in the rain or cold in the snow
  • It has to be practical - good pockets, wipeable/washable
  • You have to love it (because you will spend a lot of time wearing it)

If you are pregnant this winter another option could be to look for a cape or go for your usual sized mum coat and invest in a big cosy scarf to keep the bump warm.

Asos £40 / The Tartan Blanket Co. £35

My chosen Mum Coat 2016 is this one from Burton Snowboards, it ticks all the above boxes, its cool and I love it.

Burton Snowboards £220

Here are a few other options that i've spotted:

Hush £170 / TOPSHOP £95 / Jigsaw £198 / Jaeger £200

AUTUMN OUTFITS

Every time the seasons change I feel a strong urge to go shopping and there always seems to be so many things I need (want) all of a sudden. However I have learnt that successful Autumn shopping/dressing is about adding a few key pieces to your wardrobe, that will see you through to Winter, that can be dressed up and down and that can complement what you already have.

Here are a few never fail Autumn outfit ideas, shopping tips and some pieces that will make perfect additions to your wardrobe: 

A statement coat: One thing I am always drawn to every season is animal print. I love it - animal print (in my opinion) is a neutral meaning it goes with everything, can be worn to anything and always looks fun and cool.  A leopard print coat is so much more fun than a black one and you'll be surprised how versatile it is.  Marks & Spencer have a few different style leopard print coats in at the moment to suit every shape, size and personality.

A new pair of jeans always makes a good addition to your wardrobe and can often bring back to life tops that you haven't worn for ages.  These are great - high enough around the waist to hide the 'mum tum', slightly cropped and work with ankle boots, flats, heels and trainers.

 

Collared Neck Overcoat with Wool £69 / Frayed Hem Slim Leg Jeans £35

A jumper dress: I love this dress, so comfortable, can be worn over jeans, leather trousers, with boots and tights or trainers. It would also look cool with a biker jacket on top or with a big colourful scarf.  If you are pregnant this could be a good dress to invest in (go for a size up). 

A statement bag can be the making of an outfit - this heart shaped bag is amazing and perfect for Christmas parties, events and weddings.

You'll never regret investing in a pair of practical boots these are a perfect mix of a biker and chelsea boot and will look cool with tights, jeans and dresses. 

Jacquard Long Sleeve Printed Dress £35 / Heart Clutch Bag £29.50

Leather (or faux) leather trousers are one of my Autumn/Winter staples, I wear them a lot, to everything with everything. For smarter occasions I usually wear them with a longer shirt and coat, then dress them down with a T-shirt, denim jacket and trainers.

Striped shirts are having their moment and this is a great one - it is super super simple, flattering, soft and a perfect cut with it's long cuffs. 

This cardigan is leopard print and sparkly - I don't think it needs explaining, it's a winner and would possibly become the most useful thing you own.

Photography by @janelookerphotography 

This post is kindly sponsored by Marks & Spencers. All thoughts, clothes choices, ideas and purchases are my own.

IVY PARK

IVY PARK, the eponymous activewear label co-founded by Beyoncé is back for a second season and it's as cool as she is. There are loads of new styles including parkas, leotards, jumpsuits and puffa jackets as well as the basics including sweatshirts, leggings, bra tops and tshirts.

Personally I tend to go for bold, bright patterned leggings with a simpler, plain coloured top when dressing for exercise. I LOVE my pink camo leggings (which also come in blue and grey) and this simple - but very cool (like Beyoncé) grey sweatshirt.

Camo Mesh Panel Legging £55 / Sweatshirt £45

If you have followed my blog for a while you will know that I am big advocate for loving your exercise clothes - I believe that the right clothes can motivate you to get them on, get out there and get fit. I also believe that being comfortable and feeling good in the clothes that you wear is very important - which is why I like IVY PARK so much - there are styles to suit everyone and the message is positive.

Logo Crew Neck Tee £16 / Backpack £45

The latest IVY PARK collection has every kind of fitness covered - running, dancing, gym-ing, jumping... They have also introduced some cool accessories including bags, socks, head band and hats. And even if you don't actually want to get fit you can just hang out in the clothes (there is a very comfortable looking jumpsuit) and pretend you are Beyoncé - which is something I like doing.

This post is kindly sponsored by TOPSHOP & Affiliate Window. All thoughts, clothes choices and ideas are my own.

VOLVO

I recently had the pleasure (and believe me it was pleasurable) of driving a Volvo (specifically a XC90 D5 PowerPulse AWD R-Design) to Festival Number 6 - which is an amazing festival in Portmeirion, North Wales that Volvo sponsor.

If you think about what the exact opposite of this car is, that is what I currently drive so as soon as I sat in this car I was not only in love but in slight disbelief that driving can actually be so comfortable.

This car does so much, it has features that I didn't even know existed in a car but every single one made our journey and drive more pleasurable. I am a big appreciator of design, and the research and innovation that companies invest in to developing into products and details that make them the best they can be and this is something Volvo clearly does.

However you most probably haven't come to this blog to read about cars, (although you may well drive one and be considering getting a new car at some point),  I am going to briefly tell you why I think the New Volvo XC90 is so good:  

  • It looks amazing and is super stylish - each detail has been designed to make driving simpler, more enjoyable, and less stressful.
  • It drives like a smooth dream (and if you press a button pretty much drives by itself)
  • It has 7 seats
  • It has intuitive technology so everything links together (and is potentially smarter than you are).
  • It is one the the safest cars on the road
  • It is very, very comfortable
  • It is fuel efficient (the Hybrid version)
  • It is designed in Scandinavia - and is made from the finest materials—like soft leather, and grainy wood. 
  • You can connect it to the apps in your IPhone
  • It is perfect for families  

The only bad thing about this car was that we had to give it back.